CDTA offers increased commuter service

 David Ellis, staff writer

The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) announced in Jan. 2014 that they would be increasing service times for their 224 route. The route travels between Downtown Albany, Hudson Valley and Downtown Troy.

Previously, CDTA buses would only frequent the college every half hour. Now, due to increased ridership from the college, service times have been increased to every 15 minutes during the morning commute and every 20 minutes in the afternoon.

Students and staff, as well as the Environmental Sustainability Committee, have worked to allow students to be able to commute to and from college for free using CDTA’s services.

In 2009, the CDTA proposed a three year contract where Hudson Valley would be charged a fee per ride. The first year the program would be implemented, Hudson Valley would be charged a maximum fee of $125,000. For each year thereafter, the maximum fee would go up by $25,000.

Beginning in the fall of 2013, all enrolled students were able to ride CDTA services free of charge. The free ridership program is activated when students pay their tuition bills and is available during the spring and fall semesters as well as intersession.

In 2010, officials from CDTA said that they agree with the general premise that increased frequency is desirable.

However, Kristina Younger, executive director for business development at the CDTA, said, “[CDTA] cannot afford or justify such a service increase based on current ridership and productivity.”

Now, with increased ridership due to Hudson Valley’s free ridership program, CDTA has implemented increased service frequencies for its campus bus service.

“Public transportation can be a solution to many problems faced by the college. It would reduce the traffic congestion, solves the parking problems, and reduces the school’s carbon footprint,” said CDTA spokesperson Margo Janack in 2011.

“Naturally, we would love to partner with HVCC to provide universal bus access to students and faculty,” said Janack.

Hudson Valley is currently paying for 50 percent of the program’s cost, while the Student Senate and the Faculty Student Association (FSA) is splitting the other 50 percent.

“The hope of free bus access is that returning and new students in the fall see this as an advantage of Hudson Valley Community College,” said Eric Bryant, assistant director of communications and marketing.

Each weekday, more than 100 CDTA buses stop on campus providing hundreds of students and staff members with transportation to campus.

The college hopes to reduce traffic congestion as well as parking issues on campus and provide a more sustainable mode of transportation for the entire college community.

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